Lala was looking into getting a master’s degree in acupuncture, and a few other things before that, but none of it was really lining up. An artist by nature, Lala is a weaver and a dancer/performance artist who has been exploring the often underpaid world of combining livelihood and artistry with varying degrees of success. Her background includes herbalism, aromatherapy and permaculture, experience living in intentional, alternative communities, and world travel.
Cap’t. K was heading towards medical school, with the long term goal of becoming a doctor. A computer geek at heart, with training in massage therapy, a background in e-commerce, and an extreme passion for kites, flying, and the wind, K. is a man of many talents.
But the idea of facing a lifetime of debt from graduate school degrees or home ownership was not appealing, and the whole rat race thing was not making us happy. We had concerns about climate change, peak oil, and our carbon footprint and thelack of resilience in our lives. We were working unsatisfying jobs that were getting us by, but every day we would come home feeling like this wasn’t REALLY the life we wanted together. We knew we were meant to live more adventurous, inspiring lives. We both have a keen interest in off-grid living, and in crafting a simple yet rich way of life less dependent on fossil fuels. We’ve always wanted to travel together, but how could we do that without lots of fuel?
In 2009 for our one year wedding anniversary, we rented a little sailboat for the afternoon in Provincetown, MA. K. had sailed dinghies in college, and Lala, who grew up in the landlocked Midwest, had NO sailing experience. We managed to sail around the harbor and had a fabulous time. Lala didn’t think too much more of it, but K. became obsessed. For the next 6 months he read about sailboats, researched sailboats, and talked about sailboats night and day. Then, in the dead of winter, he started suggesting that we sell out, buy a sailboat, and go cruising. A crazy idea. We had no money and no experience, how could we do such a thing?
But the idea took hold, and then, the doors started opening. Before we knew it, the boat that K. had meticulously researched as the cheapest, safest, most sturdy ocean going vessel we could possibly afford (a Swedish sailboat called an Albin Vega) appeared before us and was offered to us at a great deal. All the details started falling in place, and we knew that we HAD to go on this trip. And what did we have to lose if it didn’t work out? We could always come back and pick up where we left off. Neither of us was at a point in our careers where we couldn’t leave our jobs for while, and although we had tried, we do not have children. It couldn’t hurt to just go through the open door and see what might be on the other side.
So we jumped. We downsized, sold stuff, quit our jobs, and took care of a million and one details to set ourselves free.
In 2010, a mere 6 months after the idea was first conceived, we set out on Wee Happy from Lake Champlain to go SOUTH. We didn’t have a destination, as the entire point of leaving was to see where divine guidance would lead us and how lightly we could live on the Earth.
Why was our boat named Wee Happy? We are experimenting with being happy with less, and our boat is very, very small, or as the Scottish might say, wee. Would we have liked a bigger boat? Sure, but if we had to come up with the money for a bigger boat, we wouldn’t have gotten out there sailing, so we’re happy it was wee!
After a couple years of sailing, God graced us with conceiving a child. So instead of continuing our lives afloat and sailing to Central America as planned, we simply flew down to have our boy there. It was a nice “baby-cation” (as in a vacation to have our baby in a nice relaxing place).
While we were there providence opened a door for us that we never could have envisioned. We were invited to buy in to a permaculture farm. We have our list of dreams in life, and every item on that list was embedded in this farm opportunity.
We had no idea how we could possibly afford it, but we decided to take a leap of faith and trust the divine inspiration that had brought us to that point. The financing for the land materialized like a sudden miracle. We sold everything we owned in the States and had enough money to get started and build a wee house on our wee lot in the farm.
So these are the adventures of Lala & Captain K and their new sidekick JuJu! From the rat race to living off grid in a yurt to living afloat on the sea to building a sustainable life in a permaculture farm in the tropics. For better or worse, our fates have brought us on this interesting path to a simpler and greener life.